Hospitals & Snoring Roommates

I wake up in a pool of sweat and look around the half lit room, it takes me a moment to figure out I’m in hospital, then I remember that’s right I don’t have ovaries anymore, menopause has rudely hit 15 years early and oh yeah, I have cancer.

I try to lift myself further up the squeaking bed that seems to have its own gravitational pull making you slowly slide down until your feet hit the end again. It’s a marathon effort just to lift my own bum up and shuffle backwards due to the leftover gas in my ribs. I took easy movement for granted before.

I pick up my phone grateful to see It’s 5am, I’m glad I actually slept last night, the last few nights were write offs and I was exhausted. The lady in the next cubicle is still sleeping, I swear her snoring makes the curtains shake.

The night nurse is fabulous, I’ve had her twice in a row, we talked a lot the first sleepless night and she walked in the room when her shift started last night waving ear plugs at me and winking plus she laughed at my jokes about smothering my new neighbour with a pillow.

That’s a notable difference between the normal ward and the psych ward, on the psych ward joking about murdering your snoring room mate was akin to talking about a bomb in an airport.

If I can eat, walk and um…pass bodily fluids (that was delicately put huh?) then I get to go home today. Considering I’m still bed bound with a catheter (less delicate) it seems like a bit of a challenging prospect right now but I’ve been told that once I’m able to get up and move it’ll help remove the left over gas from surgery and I’ll be able to breathe better again.

I’ve stopped taking pain relief other than anti inflammatories and Panadol because the other stuff made me nauseous and super dizzy which contributed to the not being able to get up yet thus not helping the gas pain, catch 22.

The nice night nurse just came in to do obs, I’m really lucky that everyone I’ve had the whole time has been super kind. Yesterday even the anaesthetist (who of course due to the small world in which we live) went to Med school with M popped in for a post surgery “how are you feeling” visit – that’s pretty much unheard of with anaesthetists, plus she was in cycling gear and not actually working but genuinely stopping by on her way past.

I’ve been dissociating less in here (I think) it’s strange having a relatively clear timeline of events for once and a relatively broad range of emotions. I’ve discovered that kindness makes me cry, snoring makes me cranky and endone makes me nauseous.

It’s going to be hard to go home and tell the kids I have cancer, while stage etc isn’t determined until final pathology comes back, it’s in multiple sites in the abdomen so it’s not exactly a good prognosis.

How do you tell your kids you’re dying?

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